UPDATE: Council considered your feedback in the Community Engagement Summary report at the Council meeting held on 22 December 2021. Read the Minutes of the Council meeting here. The draft Procurement Policy has now been adopted.

Bayside City Council has developed a new draft Procurement Policy in accordance with the Local Government Act 2020. We’re committed to open, transparent conversations with our community about Council policies and are seeking feedback on the draft policy for the consideration of Council.

Bayside’s draft Procurement Policy has been developed in collaboration with the South Eastern Regional Group of Councils. This genuine collaboration to produce a standard policy provides consistency for potential contractors when tendering for projects in the region.

Key changes in the draft Procurement Policy

The draft Policy proposes lifting the public tender threshold from $150K to $300K. This is not a radical change as Council currently issues construction projects over $150K to market via the Construction Supplier Register.

The draft policy also eliminates the need to seek Ministerial exemption for any purchase over the proposed tendering threshold, subject to any regulations, without a public tender. Instead, Officers must seek Council approval.

Financial delegations have been removed from the Procurement Policy which removes the requirement to update the policy should Council resolve to change the CEO’s delegation.

This draft policy also supports Council’s declaration of a climate emergency. A review of policy and procurement practices was an action in the Climate Emergency Action Plan. Whilst the previous policy generally supported sustainable practices, most recently,work has been undertaken to fundamentally amend the underlying procurement processes, along with all tender response schedules, to support the declaration. This change, along with improved specifications that focus on environmental outcomes, will continue to drive improvement in Council’s performance during sourcing activities. Sustainability criteria are also factored into the tender assessment methodology making a multifaceted approach to embedding change in the supply chain and making procurement more sustainable. Reporting on performance in this area will be undertaken as part of ongoing procurement reporting.

The draft policy also removes a specific weighting on price set between 30 to 60% that existed in the previous policy. This allows a more balanced approach to assessment to be undertaken dependent on the nature of the procurement activity. One of the concerns with the weighting for price as part of the overall assessment, is that it may preclude good quality tenderers in favour of the contractors who price low but seek substantial variations over the course of the project.

The policy also needs to be applicable to all forms of procurement from major construction through to consultancy and a wide range of services. Price may be a greater or lesser component of the assessment depending on the nature of the activity. It should also be noted that the procurement activity is generally undertaken with clear budget parameters that also place a ceiling on price. Removal of the weighting from the policy also supports the regional collaboration approach whereby a group of Councils going to market can agree a set of weightings appropriate to the nature of the collaborative procurement activity.

To ensure value for money, assessment of the best price, subject to an agreed variance will be used. The tolerances will be set in the supporting procedures. The tolerances will be reviewed annually.

The policy will be reviewed annually by the Audit and Risk Committee and any changes proposed will require a decision of Council

Next steps

The draft Policy will be open for community and stakeholder consultation between 28 October – 12 November 2021. It is expected that Council will consider community feedback at its meeting on 21 December and decide whether to adopt the draft Procurement Policy.

The agenda for this meeting, including the community engagement report, will be published on 15 December 2021 via Council's website. Project subscribers will be notified of the results of the engagement and the Council report at this time.

The 21 December 2021 Council meeting will be live-streamed via Council’s website. Interested members of the community can ask a question of this meeting or request to be heard.

To receive updates on this project, click on the blue 'subscribe' button at the top of the project page.